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By Ernest Gurulť

Not the countryís finest hour; we should be ashamed

It is not the summer heat that exhausts and drains our strength, at least not this summer. It is our nationís leadership which seems to have gone rogue and, sadly, by design.

Take the image on the current issue of TIME Magazine. Itís the juxtaposition of a weeping, bewildered little brown girl looking up to an image of President Trump staring down. Itís a composite, separate photographs. But the message is clear. It is his policy---separating children from their parents---that has taken this baby from her mother.

Trumpís crackdown on border crossings by people and families, many fleeing for their lives has been abetted by his Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security and spokespeople parroting the same tune; they are only enforcing the law; following orders.

But justification for this tsunami of premeditated human suffering is not based on law despite endless official pronouncements. It is simply a continuation of this Presidentís pandering to his base, much of which is decidedly xenophobic.

Layer upon layer of the administrationís deceit doesnít change the fact that this is a policy of choice. No statute or judicial mandate calls for family separation. Yet, between April and May according to HHS, more than 2,000 immigrant children are no longer with their parents. The number has risen sharply since then.

Some children have been released to relatives but many languish in shelters spread across the country. A good number of them are minors but others are too young to even be called toddlers. Many others---the number is unknown---are simply unaccounted for; lost in the paperwork.

But even a President whose calling card is deceit knows when a poorly conceived and horrendously executed plan has blown up in his face. In an act of faux statesmanship, Trump signed an executive order reversing his own policy of separating families. Not even the Trump-friendly Wall Street Journal could overlook the specious nature of this political sleight of hand. It editorialized that ďthe President took credit for reversing a policy had said he couldnít reverse,Ē and that it was ďa problem of his own creation.Ē

Were it not for heartbreaking images of crying, forlorn babies, kids in cages, Senators barred from on-site inspections at holding camps and dogged work or journalists, Trump may have done nothing. But he had no choice. His malevolent plan to inflict pain and punishment on border crossers backfired.

But as long as the racist element of his base demands continued mistreatment of human beings who donít look or speak or act like them, Trump will simply look for another way to placate them. Their demands, his cruelty have shone a harsh and unflattering light on our nation.





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